Oysters are one of those delicacies that can take a little time to become accustomed to, but once you get there, they are one of life’s greatest food pleasures. There are many ways to serve and prep oysters, and even more wines to pair with them.
If you’re keen to explore the world of oyster and wine pairing, here are our top picks for getting spicy and creative:
To prepare and serve oysters in any style, it is important to keep as much of the natural liquid in the shell as possible. This means you will have a deliciously tender oyster, packed with natural salt and freshness.
The best way to cook (if required) and serve oysters of any style is on a bed of rock salt. Don’t be shy. Completely cover a cooking tray or plate with a solid layer of rock salt, and use this tray to grill or serve.
Mix a teaspoon of minced ginger, a finely sliced spring onion, a teaspoon of sesame oil and a couple of teaspoons of soy sauce in a small bowl, and drizzle lightly over your oysters. Line these babies up on a cooking tray covered in a solid layer of rock sea salt, and place under a hot grill. Do not walk away. Even if Ryan Gosling rings your doorbell because his car has broken down in your driveway - these oysters are more important! Once the top is browning nicely, remove from the grill and enjoy. Also, go and chase Ryan Gosling down the street and offer him an oyster. He will understand they were worth the wait.
Oysters Chinese Style need a fresh and light bodied wine like the Handpicked Regional Selections Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc to cut through the ginger and soy. Produced in stainless steel tanks, this wine boasts freshness and a perfect hit of acidity.
Natural Oysters with a Thai Dressing
Traditional Thai flavours such as chilli and lime are a perfect accompaniment for natural oysters, and will also help your non-oyster experienced friends ease into the seafood relationship.
Mix a teaspoon of fish sauce, half a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar, a squeeze of lime juice and a small amount of finely diced chilli in a small bowl. If you want to turn down the heat, remove the chilli seeds first. Add half a teaspoon of minced ginger and a small amount of finely diced red onion for an extra hit of flavour. Spoon mixture over natural oysters, and garnish with finely sliced spring onion or coriander leaves. Though we believe fresh is always better, you could also use a sprinkle of chilli flakes if you do not have access to a fresh chilli. Either way, start small and add more chilli if you want to bring the heat.
These fresh and spicy flavours pair beautifully with a crisp and subtly creamy wine, like the Handpicked Regional Selection Yarra Valley Chardonnay. With notes of stone fruit and a soft spice to match, this Chardonnay is an unusual yet brilliant pair for Thai style oysters.
Kilpatrick is one of the most traditional and iconic ways of preparing and serving oysters. If you are trying to entice your non-oyster loving friends over to the light, Kilpatrick is the way to go. Either that or ditch these friends, because you don’t want that kind of negativity in your life.
To serve Oysters Kilpatrick, sprinkle finely diced bacon over the centre, and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce. Feeling fancy? Swap the bacon for prosciutto and watch the look of awe spread across your friends faces. Place your oysters under a hot grill, and you guessed it - don’t walk away.
A knock at the door? Sorry Emma Watson, until you can teach me to Accio some oysters Kilpatrick, you will have to wait outside. Once the prosciutto is crisp and the oyster is browning, invite Emma in to share these bad boys over a glass of Handpicked Regional Selections Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Bursting with juicy fruit and a delicious crisp and herbal lift, this pair will have even the most seafood scared of your friends converted.
The most simple style of oysters also happens to be the most acquired taste. Serving natural oysters allows them to shine, with just a squeeze of lemon juice to lift the freshness. Add thin slices of lemon to garnish, and serve on a bed of rock salt.
Natural oysters pair deliciously with a fresh and crisp wine like the Handpicked Regional Selections Eden Valley Riesling. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, this Riesling showcases a soft mineral edge and a zesty punch of acidity.
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